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Managing reverse lookup zones

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Managing reverse lookup zones

When adding reverse lookup zones, you can simplify the process of adding pointer (PTR) resource records to these zones by:

  • Using the Update associated pointer (PTR) record option when manually adding host (A) resource records to forward lookup zones.

  • Deploying DHCP servers and enabling DHCP-DNS integration features to help manage and update reverse lookup zones for legacy clients.

  • Installing Windows XP as the standard operating system in your organization for deploying new client hardware.

    With Windows XP on your client computers, either the client or its Windows Server 2003 DHCP server can be enabled to perform pointer (PTR) resource record registration for the client when its IP address is obtained and configured.

Subnetted reverse lookup zones

Default subnet masks (which have either a value of 0 or 255 used in each of the four octets of the masked value) are assumed by the DNS when configuring a new reverse lookup zone. If necessary, you can use custom subnetting to adjust the subnet mask value to a nondefault length.

Subnetted reverse lookup zones are supported when using the Advanced view setting available through Microsoft Management Console (MMC) and the DNS. This allows you to add and configure a reverse lookup for an IP network address that uses nondefault subnet mask lengths, such as, which has a nondefault subnet value of 248 in the third octet.

For more information, see Using the Windows Deployment and Resource Kits.


  • Subnetted reverse lookup zones are further described in RFC 2317, "Classless IN-ADDR.ARPA delegation." For more information on RFCs or how to obtain them, see TCP/IP RFCs.

    PTR resource records created automatically when adding an A resource record to a zone will be deleted automatically if the corresponding A resource record is deleted.

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